Does a bathroom remodel need a permit?

It’s very exciting when you decide to give your home a facelift like remodeling your bathroom. Apart from the costs, there are other important factors you have to consider before your DIY remodel. You need to ensure you have all the permits needed and how much it will cost you.

So the short answer to whether you need a permit to remodel your bathroom is yes, you do need a permit but the permit requirements vary from city to city. You may be tempted to save some money by skipping the permit, but a few years down the road when you’re trying to sell your house and inspection is done, you may be forced to spend more money or get a lower selling price because buyers may fear a home without permits and deem it unsafe.

Home renovations must meet the basic requirements for safety, health, and structural rules laid out by the local building code. If you’re remodeling your bathroom by yourself, you should do your homework to see what permits are required, but if you’re using a licensed contractor, they will know what permits they need. Depending on the kind of project you’re doing, some permits are issued immediately, while others need to be inspected first. Generally, you’ll need a building permit for any renovations that involve changing the structure and systems in your home which include adding new windows and door openings, reconfiguring space by moving or removing walls, and installing a new fireplace. You may also need to get an electrical and plumbing permit separately.

When you need a permit for remodeling your bathroom
When you don’t need a permit to remodel your bathroom
Adding windows in your bathroom
Interior or exterior painting. Changing the bathroom decoration
Changing the roof of your bathroom and adding things like skylights or changing the roof pitch
Changing the floor of your bathroom
Installing a new electrical point in your bathroom
Doing minor electrical work like replacing an electrical outlet or light fixtures
Moving your bathtub or sink where you need to install a new plumbing system and drain lines
Replacing an existing sink
Demolishing a shower all or dividing wall in your bathroom or building or adding a dividing wall or shower structure
Adding or replacing countertops
Doing anything with a sewer line
Replacing an existing toilet
Replacing a water heater

Why do you need a permit for your bathroom to remodel?

You must keep all changes or renovations to your home current and up to date so that it becomes easy to track this information for the insurance, taxes, and any future resale. Apart from benefiting you and keeping your local municipality in the know, it also helps to maintain the proper value of your home. Remodeling permits are there to ensure that everyone adheres to the health and safety standards put in place by the authorities.

Most importantly, remodeling permits ensure that the work is done right and protects you from paying hefty fines. In case of a disaster, your insurance company can access the damage and handle the issue accordingly. When it comes time to sell your home, all the renovations and changes you’ve made to your home need to be supported by remodeling permits. If you fail to get permits, it can drastically affect the value of your home, especially if there are safety concerns or even worse, you could be fined and also pay for the fixes that need to be done on your house to bring it up to code.

What are the consequences of remodeling without a permit?

The legal implications of not getting a remodeling permit will constitute being fined and facing other serious penalties. You can also end up spending even double the amount of money to get the job redone properly so it’s up to code.

Apart from the legal problems, some other issues may arise if you don’t get a permit for remodeling your home. You can have problems with your insurance company. Any remodeling you undertake on your house can affect your home owner’s insurance policy so when you don’t get a remodeling permit you’re putting yourself at a greater risk.

Something else you should consider is the fact that some of the renovations you undertake can have potential damage to your home if not done properly. That’s why you need a remodeling permit for your safety and to ensure that everything you do is on record. If there are electrical and plumbing changes involved and they’re not done properly, it can cause serious problems especially if you don’t have a permit.


Always remember before you start ant remodeling on your home consider if you’ll need a permit or not. If you need one make sure you get it before starting on any work. A remodeling permit will not only save you from legal problems but also ensure you’re safe when doing your work.


Do I need a permit to remove the drywall?

In most places, you’ll need a permit to do most construction activities. If you want to install a drywall in a large place, add or remove a wall you’ll need a permit.

Do home inspectors check for building permits?

Whether you have building permits or not, it doesn’t have a big effect on your home inspection.

Bruce Marcus

Bruce Marcus, an expert at Home Improvement, has been working in this field for years. He works closely with different homeowners and helps them chose the best flooring for their houses. The expert believes that carpeting a home is one of the best choices that any homeowner can make. According to him, this option not only makes your home look classy but also keeps it warm and cozy. Marcus has been equipping homeowners with useful tips regarding how to get the right carpet for your home. He hopes that this information can help you make an educated decision when choosing a carpet.

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